Today in History: United Nations founded in 1945

Today in History: United Nations founded in 1945

73 years ago today, in an effort to promote international peace and security, the United Nations was formed. The founding 51 member countries established the UN following World War II with the idea to prevent another such conflict from happening, replacing the ineffective League of Nations that was formed after World War I. Aside from peacebuilding, the UN works for causes related to humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, disaster relief and the advancement of women. The UN’s headquarters are in New York City. There are currently 193 United Nations member states.

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Today is National Boss’s Day

Today is National Boss’s Day

Back in 1958, Patricia Bays Haroski, a secretary at State Farm Insurance in Deerfield, Illinois registered “National Boss’s Day” with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She was working for her father at the time and chose October 16 in honor of her father’s (i.e. her boss’s) birthday. Four years later, Illinois Governor, Otto Kerner, officially proclaimed Boss’s (also Bosses) Day. It became a Hallmark Holiday in 1979 with the introduction of National Boss’s Day cards.

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Today in History: Ben Shahn born in 1898

Today in History: Ben Shahn born in 1898

Ben Shahn (September 12, 1898 – March 14, 1969) was an American painter and graphic artist whose work displayed a combination of realism and abstraction, thus addressing various social and political causes. Shahn immigrated with his family to New York City in 1906. In 1913–17 he worked as a lithographer’s apprentice while attending high school at night. He later attended New York University, City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design in New York. During travels to Europe in 1925 and 1927 he saw the works of the Old Masters. In 1933 Shahn enrolled in the New York City Public Works Art Project and executed a series of works on the Prohibition era. From 1935 to 1938 he worked for the Farm Security Administration as an artist and photographer.
Shahn and his wife, Bernarda Brysen, executed a series of panels for the lobby of the Bronx post office in New York in 1938–39, a project that took the form of a geographic panorama of American life. Beginning in the mid-1950s, his work became more reflective and less concerned with social criticism. Source: britannica.com

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Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-nicknamed-uncle-sam

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Today in History: First Davis Cup Final in 1900

Today in History: First Davis Cup Final in 1900

118 years ago today, the first Davis Cup final took place between the United States and Great Britain, then playing under the name of the British Isles. The fist competition was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston where the Americans surprised the British team with an early unbeatable 3-0 lead. The idea for the tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who wanted to challenge the British to a tennis match. One of the four players, Dwight Davis, developed the tournament format and even purchased a trophy with his own money. The event was originally known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but soon became known as the Davis Cup, after Dwight Davis’ trophy. By 2015, 125 nations entered what has become the men’s tennis premier international team competition.

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Today in History: First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

On August 1, 1914, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, two more great European powers—Russia and Germany—declare war on each other; the same day, France orders a general mobilization. The so-called “Great War” that ensued would be one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians and the physical devastation of much of the European continent.

The event that was widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I occurred on July 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife by the Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Over the weeks that followed, Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack, hoping to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism in the tumultuous Balkans region once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austria-Hungary declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. This assurance came on July 5; Austria-Hungary subsequently sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government on July 23 and demanded its acceptance within two days at the risk of war. Though Serbia accepted all but two of the ultimatum’s terms, and Russia declared its intention to back Serbia in the case of such a conflict, Austria-Hungary went ahead with its war declaration against Serbia on July 28, one month after the assassinations.

With that declaration, the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers was shattered: Germany warned Russia, still only partially mobilized, that to continue to full mobilization against Austria-Hungary would mean war with Germany. While insisting that Russia immediately halt mobilization, Germany began its own mobilization; when the Russians refused the German demands, Germany declared war on the czarist empire on August 1. That same day, Russia’s ally, France, long suspicious of German aggression, began its own mobilization, urging Great Britain—the third member, along with France and Russia, of the Triple Entente alliance—to declare its support. A divided British government declined to do so initially, but events soon precipitated Britain’s move towards war as well. On August 2, the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg as part of a long-planned German strategy to invade France through neutral Belgium. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3; that night, Germany invaded Belgium, prompting Great Britain to declare war on Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. The great majority of people—within government and without—assumed that their country would be victorious within months, and could not envision the possibility of a longer conflict. By the end of 1914, however, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and there was no final victory in sight for either the Allies or the Central Powers. On the Western Front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition, which would continue, in Europe and other corners of the world, for the next four years.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-world-war-erupts-in-europe

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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